Emojis are something people seem to either love or hate. Finns belong to the former group – in fact, Finns love emojis so much that in December last year,Finland became the first country to launch its own country themed emoji collection!Each of the 49 emojis represent Finnish culture and identity in some way, and while the meaning of these emojis might be self-evident to a Finn, the average foreigner mayfeel puzzled when looking at these emojis. Still, these emojis are an excellent introduction to Finnish culture, and as a Finnish person, I feel it’s my duty to explain a few of them to you:
Finns love their personal space and protect it as much as they can. This phenomenon is best showcased at bus stops, where Finns like to keep an arm length’s distance from each other. Moreover, in Finland, awkward silences are not awkward, but small talk can definitely be. Indeed, chitchatting with a Finnish person is most likely going to be a very painfulexperience for the both of you. Actually, considering our excessive need for personal space and inability to talk to strangers, it’s surprising that we haven’t gone extinct!
This kind of black gold won’t make you rich BUT it will numb your tongue and get stuck in your teeth, and hey, you can’t put a price on that. I am talking about salmiakki, a salty liquorice made from ammonium chloride. Oh, and it also comes in a bottle – as a kind of vodka, of course (it doesn’t get much more Finnish than that).
Maybe you thought Santa Claus lives on the North Pole. Well, I hate to break it to you, but in that case, your Christmas wish lists have gone to the wrong address. Santa Claus does in fact live in the Finnish Lapland, and he even has his own village in Rovaniemi! For future reference, the correct address is:
Santa Claus Main Post Office
FI-96930 Arctic Circle
The Saimaa ringed seal a type of seal that only exists in Lake Saimaa, Finland. In Latin, they are called Pusa Hispida Saimensis, which I’m sure means ”too cute to handle”. As cozy and chubby as these butterballs may look, they are actually critically endangered and only about 320 seals remain. Heartbreaking!
No Finnish emoji collection would be complete without a sauna. With 5,5 million inhabitants and 3,2 million saunas, saunas are a staple inthe Finnish home. And yes, you’re supposed to be completely naked – I assure you, when it’s 90°C hot, there’s no need for anything extra! Indeed, the Finnish sauna is truly a place for relaxation and purification (and, ahem, beer drinking).
This ends our glimpse into Finnish culture and identity. If you have a thirst for more, you can find all of the Finland emojis here!
by Sara Falck, bab.la